SARTELL (WJON News) -- Sartell-St. Stephen High School has received some state funding to help prepare future nursing assistants.

The Next Generation Nursing Assistant initiative, in collaboration of the State of Minnesota and Minnesota State, awarded over $98,000 in equipment grants to 24 Minnesota High Schools.

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Kara Brink is the school's Certified Nursing Instructor. She says the $5,000 grant will help make their classroom space feel more realistic.

The money goes towards making sure our hospital beds are fully functional, equipment, and any other supplies that will make our lab feel like a nursing home facility or hospital.

The program is a partnership with the school and St. Cloud Technical and Community College’s Discovery Academy where students are able to earn college credit from SCTCC and at the end of the course are prepared for the State CNA test, which they take at the end of the semester.

Brink says they have roughly 12 students in the course this semester, and the 20 students they had last semester have already taken their written test.

Our semester one students have completed their written exam and we had an over 90% passing rate on that portion of the test. Now those students are in the process of taking their skills exam.

Brink says they continue to find ways to grow their programming. Most recently, the school is working with RSVP to bring in volunteers to serve as patients so the students can build their bedside skills.

The program at the high school is for students in 10th-12 grade.

According to the Minnesota Department of Employment and Economic Development, nursing assistants are the sixth most in-demand job in the state.





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